CD, Discordian Records, 2006
Electrodubpunk. Ask yourself what it means to you, because that’s how French electro artists El Barön Brissetti classify their debut full-length disc “Woodpecka Shoes”. There’s not even a Wikipedia entry for what this means, and if you Google it you just get the band’s website.
Early into “Woodpecka Shoes”, it becomes clear that “electrodubpunk” is the sort of computer music that’s an acquired taste, for sure, and analyzing this music too closely is a good way to hate it. Left in the background, however, as most music and especially things like electroclash (the only established genre that seems fitting) tends to be. It belongs on the dance floor. Well, most of it anyway.
There’s a clear eighties influence, no doubt, to this disc, with a steady helping of synth and that incomparable energy reminiscent of the analog electronic age. The band’s low-end background is undeniable – a former bass player and drummer comprise the band – and the strongest tracks on the disc consistently feature a heavy-handed bass-driven sound.
Heavier than a lot of electroclash, songs like “Del Sambau Boo”, “Stretch of Sea” and “Ultimate Japanese” would flow seamlessly into a club set and are really quite good, filled with sounds that are big and bass-y, blippy and buzzy, encompassing everything that’s great about the genre. The truly strange “Mo’ Filter”, “Smurf of Kika”, and “Chick Chicken of Space”, however, are just too weird for the dance floor, while the other tracks on the disc are just forgettable. When they’re on their game, though, punching up that low end and cranking up the BPM, El Barön Brissetti is damn good.
But while they boast about an overdose of testosterone and a disc “oozing with tongue-in-cheek humor”, the lyrics are rarely clear enough to understand, and saying that the songs are “overdosed with testosterone” is about as clear a description as “Electrodubpunk”. Besides hiring someone to translate their English marketing materials to English, for their next trick El Barön Brissetti would do well to focus on what they do best – stompy, 140bpm electro that gets a body moving.
— Tiara Lynn